Welcome to Mark Barry's Review Blog - SOUNDS GOOD, LOOKS GOOD. It features in-depth reviews for Quality CD Reissues/Remasters - all with Discography Info (Amazon UK Top 10 Reviewer).
With over 1600 posts - genres covered include Rock, Pop, Soul, Funk, Jazz Fusion, Blues, Rhythm 'n' Blues, Doo Wop, Vocal Groups, 1960s and 1970s, Prog, Psych, Punk, New Wave, Reggae and more. I also extensively review Blu Rays issues for Modern and Classic Movies.
Rants, Raves and High Geekery.
Sunday, 16 February 2014
“360”. A Review Of The 2012 Film Now On An Artificial Eye 2013 BLU RAY.
Here's a link to Amazon UK so you can buy the BLU RAY:
In the bar of Budapest’s Steigenberger Hotel a handsome British
Executive Michael Daly (Jude Law) is staring down into a whiskey as he waits
for someone. A Slovakian woman arrives at the bar and orders red wine - dressed
well enough to get in but sexily enough to be obviously open for business (a
fantastic turn by Lucia Siposova). Just as Michael is about to make a
mistake that will threaten his marriage to his beautiful wife Rose (Rachel
Weisz) – two smarmy businessmen he’d met with earlier in the day arrive to
renegotiate (one of whom is Peter Morgan the writer in a cameo). They notice
both Michael and the hooker he was heading towards. As they condescendingly
look her up sex ratings on the net - Michael takes a mobile phone call from his
tiny daughter at home who wants a dog. In Paris Algerian Jamel Debbouze
obsessively follows an employee lady friend from the back seat of a taxi
desperately wanting to tell her of his passion – in the USA a tattooed twitchy
imprisoned convict about to get out talks to his parole office about his urges
towards young girls that he now feels are under control (Ben Foster in a
stunning turn) – a bereaved
English father (Anthony Hopkins) meets another stray young lady on a plane and
at the airport John worries that she (like his daughter) may become another
victim – a brutish but essentially decent Ukrainian driver listens to language
CDs in his car as Sergei dreams of better things than the whiplash tongue of
his odious boss…
The structurally complicated “360” ploughs the same world-citizen
territory of 2006’s “Babel” with its ten different stories converging on each
other and is equally brilliant for it. This is about ordinary people – good
people – struggling to do the right thing while one action carried out
somewhere else connects them or threatens to derail them in a domino effect.
And how in the end – if you’re lucky and let go enough – life will come full
circle and mostly in a good way…
Directed by Fernando Meirelles (“City Of God” and “The Constant
Gardener”) from an original screenplay by Peter Morgan (“The Queen” and “The
Last King Of Scotland”) – “360” also lets its huge ensemble cast improvise for
freshness and cleverly uses split screens to show up to three stories progressing
at the same time.
Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Weisz attached themselves to the script
early on and clearly got the film made - both loving the process (and it
shows). Ben Foster and Jude Law are simply the acting icing on the cake. Each
is mesmerizing in their wildly different roles - especially Foster whose part
is the most creepy difficult to like let alone empathize with (achieves both).
Weisz and Hopkins are so beautifully tender too. There’s a scene where Rose has
a extramarital dalliance with a handsome Brazilian gentleman in a bedroom (when
earlier she professed undying devotion to her husband Michael) that is amazing
- while Hopkins literally rips your heart out as he explains at a meeting for
bereaved parents his newfound wisdom of sorts. “360” features great actors at
the top of their game allowed by filmmakers smart enough to let them shine.
But while the more famous leads gobble up great writing and parts
– what gives “360” its five-star rating is the unknowns who steal the show and
give this life’s connections overview such bite and reality. Even as a seasoned
watcher - you really don’t know any of these actors from all different
nationalities - and yet they etch their characters into your heart to a point
where you’re desperate to see them break free from their physical and emotional
chains. The ladies in particular are amazing – clearly relishing a generous and
humane Director and a writer with a big heart and a sharp eye. But special
mention must go to Vladimir Vdovichenkov (Russian) and Gabriella Marcinkova (Czechoslovakian) as the
chauffeur and aimless daughter who may leave their sordid worlds behind and
literally drive away to new lives…
The BLU RAY picture is defaulted to 2:35.1 so has bars above and
below – but even with stretching to 16 x 9 full screen – gives a beautiful
picture (the cinematography relishing Vienna, Budapest and Paris in the
Winter). Other moments are less defined especially the indoor shots of sleazy
photo labs and hotel rooms – filmed with an on-the-go grittiness that’s in
keeping with the story. The master audio is 5.1 DTS with English Subtitles. The
extras include a short interview with Brazilian Director Fernando Meirelles
about the making of the film (financing, plot lines etc.) and interviews with
the actors including the 4 principal leads and the Producer Andrew Eaton and
Writer Peter Morgan.
Rich in observations and wisdom - “360” is a fantastic film that
will stay with you despite its convoluted structure. And whatever turns you may
take in life – make sure you visit this humble little gem somewhere along that thorny way…